LSM Newswire

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Handel and Hadyn Society and new Artistic Director Harry Christophers present 2009-2010 season featuring an international roster of artists

2009-2010 Season opens with the Society debuts of European early music specialists Andreas Scholl and 
Jean-Christophe Spinosi; showcases enticing collaborations with new and returning artists; and features both familiar and lesser-known works, while continuing a commitment to audience development and music education

Boston, Mass. — Marking the much anticipated first season with Artistic Director Harry Christophers, the Handel and Haydn Society ­— America’s acclaimed chorus and period instrument orchestra — begins its 2009-2010 Season with a series of exciting appearances and innovative programs. The season also sees the eagerly awaited returns of distinguished, long-time collaborator Sir Roger Norrington and acclaimed conductors Jane Glover and Laurence Cummings, as well as the Society conducting debuts of celebrated period specialists Jean-Christophe Spinosi and Jaap ter Linden. Continuing its tradition of showcasing both established and emerging artists, the Society welcomes back Robert Levin on the fortepiano, bass-baritone Nathan Berg, soprano Gillian Keith, tenor Tom Randle, countertenor Daniel Taylor, and announces the Society debuts of tenor Thomas Cooley, countertenor Iestyn Davies, soprano Suzie LeBlanc, bass-baritone Matthew Brook, and the rare North American appearance of countertenor Andreas Scholl.

The 2009-2010 Season is an exploration of both intimate and large works of the Baroque and Classical periods featuring Vivaldi’s Stabat Mater; Mozart’s Piano Concerto no. 21; Caldara’s Crucifixus and Beethoven’s Symphony no. 4 — both new to the Society’s repertoire; excerpts from Gluck’s Orfeo ed Euridice; Mozart’s Mass in C Minor; and a program of works by J.S. Bach highlighting cantatas, motets, and the Brandenburg Concerto no. 5.

As Artistic Director of the Handel and Haydn Society, Christophers crafted a balance between the Society’s core repertoire and the introduction of less familiar Baroque and Classical programming for voice and period instruments. “The foundation of the season is built on a sense of theatrical drama and pure entertainment which, in our performances, will test emotions and serve as inspiration to performer and listener alike,” said Christophers.

Season Highlights
October opens the season with rare North American appearances and the debut collaboration of European early music phenomena, celebrated countertenor Andreas Scholl and young conductor Jean-Christophe Spinosi, performing some of Vivaldi’s and Handel’s finest works. World-wide, Scholl is billed as the preeminent countertenor today, acclaimed for his voice’s extraordinary color and tone as well as his virtuosity. In a program of sacred vocal works by Vivaldi, including that great declaration of faith, the Stabat Mater, Spinosi and Scholl make their Society debuts and continue the Handel and Haydn Society’s tribute to Handel in the 250th year of his death. Harry Christophers will join Scholl, Spinosi and Society audience members for an opening night reception following the performance.

November welcomes back Society favorites and established period specialists conductor Jane Glover and fortepianist Robert Levin. The program, which includes orchestral interludes from Mozart’s heroic drama, Thamos, King of Egypt and his technically demanding Piano Concerto no. 21, closes with Haydn’s Symphony no. 45 in F-sharp Minor, Farewell.

In celebration of the Society’s 156th annual performance of Handel’s Messiah, Harry Christophers makes his first appearance as Artistic Director in December. Acclaimed countertenor Daniel Taylor and charismatic tenor Tom Randle return, joined by soprano Suzie LeBlanc and bass-baritone Matthew Brook, both debut appearances. Christophers’ critically acclaimed interpretation of the Society’s 2007 Messiah performance demonstrates his commitment to Handel’s vision. “[The Messiah] is much more than a collection of exquisite arias and brilliantly vivid choruses,” said Christophers. “It exemplifies Handel’s eternal love of opera, and his vision of continuity, from advent through the passion of our Lord bursting into a jubilant finale of resurrection, ascension and the promise of final redemption.”

Dutch cellist and conductor Jaap ter Linden continues the Society’s holiday programming by making his debut and leading Corelli’s Concerto Grosso in G Minor, op.6, no. 8, also known as the Christmas Concerto; J.S. Bach’s Suite (Overture) no. 2 in B Minor, BWV 1067; Handel’s Concerto Grosso in B flat Major, op. 3, no. 2; and works by Manfredini and Muffat.

Harry Christophers ushers in the new year with Mozart’s glorious Mass in C Minor, KV 427 featuring an acclaimed roster of soloists including returning guest artists soprano Gillian Keith and bass-baritone Nathan Berg along with mezzo-soprano Tove Dahlberg and tenor Thomas Cooley, both debuting with the Society. The program will also include excerpts from Gluck’s opera Orfeo ed Euridice featuring British countertenor Iestyn Davies, as well as the 16-part Crucifixus by Antonio Caldara, a prolific composer who influenced the work of generations of composers from J.S. Bach to Brahms.

In February, British harpsichordist Laurence Cummings makes his first appearance since 2006 and presents a Valentine’s Day program featuring some of the most passionate music and poetry on the subject of love by Monteverdi, Shakespeare and the English madrigalists. Leading from the harpsichord, Cummings will also join a select group of Handel and Haydn Society Chorus members in singing several selections.

A uniquely intimate March program led by the Society’s principal bass player Robert Nairn, features a small ensemble from the Handel and Haydn Society. Recreating the atmosphere of an early 19th century salon and showcasing soprano Susan Consoli, the program includes chamber works by Mozart, Viotti, Novello, and Rossini, culminating with Schubert’s Trout Quintet, D. 667. This concert is interspersed with readings from works by Shelley and Keats among others, and includes on-stage audience seating, as was typical of salon entertainment of the day. The Society collaborates with the Huntington Theatre Company to create the perfect setting for this historically inspired experience.

Under Sir Roger Norrington’s direction, the Society presents an April program of Beethoven’s Symphony no. 6 in F Major, op. 68, Pastoral, and Symphony no. 4 in B-flat Major, op. 60. Led by one of the world’s most courageous Beethoven interpreters, this program marks the Handel and Haydn Society’s first performance of Symphony no. 4.

The 2009-2010 Season concludes with Harry Christophers leading an all Bach program featuring two cantatas, two motets, the Brandenburg Concerto no. 5 and Concerto in D Minor for Two Violins with soloists Concertmaster Daniel Stepner and Principal Second Violin Linda Quan. “Bach challenges all of us, performers and audience alike; yet above all, he constantly lifts our spirits whether it is through the effervescence of Brandenburg no. 5 or the sheer dynamic majesty of Cantata no. 50,” said Christophers. “This will undoubtedly be an uplifting close to a truly enlightening season.”

This season also brings partnerships with like-minded organizations throughout Boston and Cambridge. The Handel and Haydn Society will collaborate with the New England Conservatory, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, the Museum of Fine Arts, the Boston Public Library and the Huntington Theatre Company.

Special Audience and Community Programs
With the introduction of Harry Christophers as Artistic Director, the Society also brings new and enthusiastic audience development efforts to the 2009-2010 Season. Reaching out to young professionals in the Greater Boston area, the H2 initiative offers a fresh take on post-concert and special events aimed at Generation X and Y Baroque and Classical music fans.

November brings the Thirteenth Annual Boston International Fine Art Show. Held at the Cyclorama at the Boston Center for the Arts, party-goers will enjoy delicious food, fine wine, festive music performed by Society artists, and the first choice of a dazzling array of fine art at this special event where all proceeds benefit the Handel and Haydn Society.

Continuing its partnership with the Boston Public Library, Handel and Haydn Society musicians will perform at the library in March as part of a lecture series on the baroque and classical eras.

Free pre-concert lectures, held one hour prior to each performance, remain an important tool in engaging and interacting with audience members. This season, the Society continues post-concert talks for select performances. Musicologist Teresa Neff, Ph.D. leads the discussions. Providing this service is part of the Society’s mission to offer educational opportunities and foster a greater understanding of Historically Informed Performance (HIP).

Educational Outreach
Handel and Haydn Society’s professional period instrument musicians and artistic staff – including new artistic director Harry Christophers – are committed to working with patrons, local students and faculty, and partner organizations to foster increased communication and performing arts education opportunities.

During 2009-2010 Season, the Society will continue its successful Vocal Apprenticeship Program, an initiative under the Karen S. and George D. Levy Educational Outreach Program. December and May student concerts will be held at United Parish in Brookline and at the Boston Latin School. As part of its Heartstrings initiative, Handel and Haydn Society will offer the children and families affiliated with outreach programs continued access to performances and music education at reduced or no cost.

Substantive partnerships with area colleges like the New England Conservatory (NEC), Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), and Harvard University remain a priority for the Handel and Haydn Society. Society musicians will perform the first movement of Beethoven’s Symphony no. 9 at Harvard University in October as part of Professor Thomas Kelly’s First Nights music class. In early 2010, a symposium will be held at NEC featuring performances by both students and Society musicians, and lectures by notable scholars. The Society and NEC will continue to explore opportunities to expose students to authentic performances of specialized repertoire.

For the second season, Handel and Haydn Society will continue its comprehensive program where MIT music students study specific aspects of the Society’s repertoire to deepen their understanding of Historically Informed Performance. Students attend open rehearsals and workshops with musicians and meet with guest soloists that participate in sessions with the MIT chorus and orchestra.

Society Personnel Announcements
After 24 years, Daniel Stepner will relinquish his post as concertmaster of the Handel and Haydn Society at the end of the 2009-2010 Season. He plans to devote more time to his work as first violinist of the Lydian String Quartet in residence at Brandeis University, Artistic Director of the Aston Magna Festival in the Berkshires, Preceptor in Music at Harvard University, and with the Boston Museum Trio which is in residence at the Museum of Fine Arts. Under the direction of Music Directors Christopher Hogwood and Grant Llewellyn, Stepner led the Handel and Haydn Society orchestra through the transition from a modern instrument orchestra to one of the world’s preeminent period-instrument orchestras of today, consistently praised for its historically informed performances. In addition to his duties as Concertmaster, he has conducted several Society programs, been featured as a concerto soloist, and frequently performs chamber music programs with his colleagues in the orchestra. To celebrate his tenure as concertmaster, he will be a featured soloist in the Bach Double Violin Concerto in the final concert of the 2009-2010 Season in Symphony Hall.

Ira Pedlikin, Handel and Haydn Society’s new Director of Artistic Planning comes from the Chicago Symphony Orchestra where he worked for three years as Artist Coordinator of Symphony Center Presents. Previous to the CSO, Pedlikin was an Associate Manager of Attractions and an Associate in Program & Travel at International Creative Management in New York. A former bassoonist, he graduated from Brown University with a degree in Classics and is originally from the Boston area.

Teresa Neff, Ph.D. joins the Handel and Haydn Society as this Season’s HIP fellow. Neff received her Ph.D. in Musicology from Boston University. Focusing her research on Gottfried van Swieten, a late 18th century Viennese patron and composer, Neff’s edition of Swieten’s symphonies will be published by Artaria later this year. She has presented papers at the American Society for Eighteenth-Century Studies’ annual meeting, the New England Chapter of the American Musicological Society, and the Architecture/Music/Acoustics Conference. Neff also presents concert preview lectures for Elderhostel and Boston Lyric Opera and teaches at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and the Boston Conservatory.

Michèle Campbell, Senior Marketing Communications Manager for the Society is a seasoned marketing and advertising professional, having worked in both the for-profit and non-profit sectors. Her previous employers include Elderhostel, Broadway in Boston, and Berklee College of Music. Campbell is a classical music enthusiast who plays the cello for the Merrimack Valley Philharmonic Orchestra. She will oversee marketing and communications strategy and implementation, including customer service.

Touring, Media and Recording Projects
WGBH Boston Radio will continue to locally broadcast the Society’s performance of Handel’s Messiah, a tradition since 1978. The program – conducted by Artistic Director Harry Christophers – will also be featured on Performance Today, a daily national classical program that airs in 240 cities around the U.S. Further plans for national and international distributions are being discussed.

On December 7, the Society performs in Quebec City – an international center for the early music scene. Accomplished harpsichordist and Society Associate Conductor John Finney leads this special appearance featuring internationally-celebrated contralto Marie-Nicole Lemieux. The program at the Grand Théâtre de Québec features Corelli’s Concerto Grosso in G Minor, op. 6, no. 8 (Christmas Concerto), Bach’s “Bereite dich, Zion” from Christmas Oratorio, selections from Handel’s Messiah and works by Torelli Sammartini, and Scarlatti. This concert is presented by Club Musical de Québec.

The Handel and Haydn Society plans to resume its recording in January 2010 starting with a live performance of Mozart’s Mass in C Minor, KV 427 for release on the CORO label later that year. Releases of archival performances will follow, plus a series of recordings marking Harry Christophers’ association and partnership with the Society. Formed in 2001, CORO serves as the lively and successful record label of Harry Christophers and The Sixteen and has re-mastered, re-packaged and re-issued recordings of the ensemble and now releases most of their new recordings. CORO recently launched the Acoustic World series of discs which espouses values of performance excellence using authentic instruments, highlighting brilliance of sound and world class musicians.


Viva La Voce!
Friday, October 9, 2009 at 8:00pm Symphony Hall
Sunday, October 11, 2009 at 3:00pm Symphony Hall
Jean-Christophe Spinosi, conductor (debut)
Andreas Scholl, countertenor (debut)
Vivaldi: Fida Ninfa Overture
Vivaldi: Cantata "Cessate, omai cessate"
Vivaldi: Sinfonia, RV169 “Al santo sepolcro”
Handel: "Dall'ondoso periglio" (from Giulio Cesare)
Handel: "Aure, deh, per pieta" (from Giulio Cesare)
Handel: "Se parla nei mio cor" (from Giustino)
Vivaldi: "Filiae Maestae Jerusalem"
Vivaldi: Stabat Mater

Returns and Farewell
Friday, November 6, 2009 at 8:00pm Symphony Hall
Sunday, November 8, 2009 at 3:00pm Symphony Hall
Jane Glover, conductor (Messiah, 1996)
Robert Levin, fortepiano (Mozart Double Piano Concerto, 2007)
Mozart: Thamos, König in Ägypten, K. 345/336a (Entr'actes)
Mozart: Piano Concerto no. 21 in C Major, K. 467
Haydn: Symphony no. 45 in F-sharp Minor, Farewell

Preview Party for the Thirteenth Annual Boston International Fine Art Show
Thursday, November 12, 2009 at 5:30pm
 Cyclorama at the Boston Center for the Arts

Handel’s Messiah
Friday, December 4, 2009 at 7:30pm Symphony Hall
Saturday, December 5, 2009 at 3:00pm Symphony Hall
Sunday, December 6, 2009 at 3:00pm Symphony Hall
Harry Christophers, conductor (Celebrate Handel, 2008)
Suzie LeBlanc, soprano (debut)
Daniel Taylor, countertenor (Messiah, 2006)
Tom Randle, tenor (Messiah, 2007)
Matthew Brook, bass-baritone (debut)
Handel and Haydn Society Chorus
Handel: Messiah

Quebec City Performance
Monday, December 7, 2009 at 8:00pm
Salle Louis Fréchette, Grand Théâtre de Québec

John Finney, conductor
Marie-Nicole Lemieux, contralto
Torelli: Concerto à 4 in G Minor, op. 8, no. 6
Handel: “O Thou that Tellest Good Tidings” from Messiah
Handel: “How Beautiful are the Feet” from Messiah
Sammartini: Concerto Grosso in G Minor, op. 5, no. 6
Scarlatti: Salve Regina
Corelli: Concerto Grosso in G Minor, op. 6, no. 8 (Christmas Concerto)
Bach: “Bereite dich, Zion” from Christmas Oratorio
Bach: “Vergnügte Ruh, beliebte Seelenlust” from Cantata no. 170
Christmas Carols
This concert will be presented by Club Musical de Québec.

A Baroque Gift
Thursday, December 17, 2009 at 8:00pm NEC’s Jordan Hall
Sunday, December 20, 2009 at 3:00pm NEC’s Jordan Hall
Jaap ter Linden, conductor (debut)
Manfredini: Concerto Grosso in C Major, op. 3, no. 12 (Christmas Concerto)
Handel: Concerto Grosso in B flat Major, op. 3, no. 2
Muffat: Armonico Tributo, Sonata V in G Major
J.S. Bach: Suite (Overture) no. 2 in B Minor, BWV 1067
Corelli: Concerto Grosso, op. 6, no. 8, G Minor (Christmas Concerto)

Passion in Vienna
Friday, January 29, 2010 at 8:00pm Symphony Hall
Sunday, January 31, 2010 at 3:00pm Symphony Hall
Harry Christophers, conductor
Iestyn Davies, countertenor (debut)
Gillian Keith, soprano (Celebrate Handel, 2008)
Tove Dahlberg, mezzo-soprano (debut)
Thomas Cooley, tenor (debut)
Nathan Berg, bass-baritone (Beethoven Mass in C Major, 1998)
Handel and Haydn Society Chorus
Caldara: Crucifixus a 16
Gluck: Orfeo ed Euridice (Vienna version)
Act II Scene I (complete)
Ballo, “Che puro ciel” and Coro from Act II Scene 2
Mozart: Venite populi KV260 (248a)
Mozart: Mass in C Minor, KV 427

Zest for Love
Friday, February 12, 2010 at 8:00pm NEC’s Jordan Hall
Sunday, February 14, 2010 at 3:00pm Sanders Theatre
Laurence Cummings, conductor (Messiah, 2006)
Handel and Haydn Society Chorus
Monteverdi: “Altri canti d'amor” and “altri canto di marte”
Monteverdi: “Ecco mormora l'onde”
Marini: Echo Sonata
Monteverdi: “Lamento della ninfa”
Monteverdi: “Hor che’l ciel e la terra e ‘l vento tace”
John Bennet: “All creatures now”
John Wilbye: “Draw on sweet night”
Gesualdo: “Belta, poi che t'assenti”
Monteverdi: “T'amo mia vita”
Thomas Tomkins: “Oh yes! Has any found a lad?”
Thomas Vautor: “Sweet Suffolk Owl”
Merula: Ciaconna
Monteverdi: “Dolcissimo uscignolo”

A Musical Salon
Friday, March 19, 2010 at 8:00pm NEC’s Jordan Hall
Sunday, March 21, 2010 at 3:00pm NEC’s Jordan Hall
Rob Nairn, leader/bass
Susan Consoli, soprano
Mozart: Trio for Piano, Viola, and Clarinet in E flat Major KV 498 (Andante)
Viotti: Duo for Double Bass and Violin
Schubert: “Die Forelle” (In einem Bächlein helle), Song for Voice and Piano, D. 550 (op. 32)
Novello: “Thy Mighty Force” for soprano, piano and double bass obligato
Rossini: Duetto for Double Bass and Cello
Schubert: Trout Quintet, D. 667 (op. post 114)

Beethoven’s Pastoral
Friday, April 9, 2010 at 8:00pm Symphony Hall
Sunday, April 11, 2010 at 3:00pm Symphony Hall
Sir Roger Norrington, conductor (Haydn in London, 2009)
Beethoven: Symphony no. 6, op. 68, F Major, Pastoral
Beethoven: Symphony no. 4, op. 60, B-flat Major

Bach Portrait
Friday, April 30, 2010 at 8:00pm Symphony Hall
Sunday, May 2, 2010 at 3:00pm Symphony Hall
Harry Christophers, conductor
Daniel Stepner, violin
Linda Quan, violin
Handel and Haydn Society Chorus
J.S. Bach: "Singet dem Herrn"
Brandenburg Concerto no. 5, BWV 1050, D Major
Cantata no. 50, "Nun ist das heil" for St. Michael's Day
"Der Geist hilft"
Concerto in D Minor for Two Violins, BWV 1043
Cantata no. 29, "Wir danken dir, Gott, wir danken dir"

All programs and artists are subject to change.

2009–2010 Season Ticket Information
Subscriptions to the 2009-2010 Season and single tickets for concerts and special events are now on sale. Subscriptions and tickets may be purchased through the Handel and Haydn Box Office by phone at 617 266 3605, online at, or in person at the Handel and Haydn office, Horticultural Hall, 300 Massachusetts Avenue, Boston (M-F 10:00am – 6:00pm).

The Handel and Haydn Society is a professional chorus and period instrument orchestra that is internationally recognize­d as a leader in the field of Historically Informed Performance, a revelatory style that uses the instruments and techniques of the time in which the music was composed. Founded in Boston in 1815, the Society is the oldest continuously performing arts organization in the United States and has a longstanding commitment to excellence and innovation: it gave the American premieres of Handel’s Messiah (1818), Haydn’s The Creation (1819), Verdi’s Requiem (1878) and Bach’s St. Matthew Passion (1889). The Society today, under the leadership of Artistic Director Harry Christophers, is committed to its mission “to perform Baroque and Classical music at the highest levels of artistic excellence and to share that music with as large and diverse an audience as possible.” The Society is widely known through its local subscription concerts, tours, concert broadcasts on National Public Radio, and recordings. The Society’s Lamentations and Praises won a 2002 Grammy Award, and its two most recent CDs, All is Bright and PEACE, appeared simultaneously in the top ten on Billboard Magazine’s classical music chart. Since 1985, the Society’s award-winning Karen S. & George D. Levy Educational Outreach Program has fostered the knowledge and performance of classical music among young people including in underserved schools and communities. This school year alone, the program will bring music education and vocal training to more than 10,000 students in the Greater Boston area.

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